A pair of Manhattan doctors removed a lethal tumor the size of a cantaloupe from a 5-year-old Ethiopian girl’s face in an intense, hours-long surgery — and she proudly showed off her new mug on Tuesday.
Little Nagalem Alafa, who lives in a rural village in the African country, has never had access to specialized health care, and since birth has suffered from a “vascular malformation” on her face that’s kept her out of school and prevented her from socializing with kids her own age.
“They were hiding her at home,” explained Kalkidan Alemayehu Gebremariam, who’s been helping the child and her father translate after they came to New York for the surgery in late June.
“They don’t let her go to school and now thanks to God for this … she’ll go to school.”
The benign growth has been developing “rapidly” since birth and Nagalem would’ve suffocated or starved, due to the inability to swallow, if the tumor wasn’t removed.